Skip to main content

American Bar Foundation Convenes Leading Scholars to Participate in World Justice Forum, Vienna, Austria, July 2-5, 2008

June 30, 2008, Press releases

CHICAGO, IL – June 30- The American Bar Foundation has brought together some of the world’s leading scholars in law and social science to develop new scholarship on the rule of law. They will present key findings at the World Justice Forum, an international gathering of over 500 leaders from government, academia, social policy, and other disciplines, including sitting U.S. Supreme Court justices and European former heads of state, to be held in Vienna, Austria, July 2-5, 2008.

Robert Nelson, Director of the American Bar Foundation, and James Heckman, ABF Research Professor, who holds the Nobel Laureate in economics, are part of an international team of scholars who are conducting research for the World Justice Project, founded by the American Bar Association. The World Justice Project is an initiative whose purpose is to strengthen the rule of law around the world, and which is funded by foundations, corporations, professional firms, and the ABA. Nelson and Heckman’s team consists of twelve scholars, including Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen,  American Bar Foundation Research Professor Terence Halliday, and other experts in law, history, political science, philosophy, sociology, and economics.

The World Justice Project was founded by ABA President William H. Neukom in 2007, based upon four essential principles of the rule of law:  that government officials be accountable under the law; that laws are just and protect basic rights; that the process by which laws are enforced is fair; and that competent and independent law enforcement officials, lawyers and judges provide access to justice.”

Said Director Nelson: “There is perhaps no question that is more important in the modern age than the relationship between the rule of law and social, economic, and political development around the world.  We at the American Bar Foundation are honored to be contributing scholarship in support of this momentous endeavor; and there is no organization better equipped to provide such scholarship than the American Bar Foundation.”

 The scholars’ group first convened at the American Bar Foundation in November of 2007 in a workshop  where preliminary papers were presented.  They will present their findings at the World Justice Forum, in a session titled, “Scholarship on Rule of Law Issues" on July 3.

For a video link to the ABF scholars' workshop, click here.

The American Bar Foundation is the nation’s leading research institute for the empirical study of law.  An independent, nonprofit organization, for more than fifty years the ABF has advanced the understanding and improvement of law through research projects of unmatched scale and quality on the most pressing issues facing the legal system in the United States and the world.


Lucinda Underood
750 North Lake Shore Drive, 4th floor
Chicago, IL  60611
312.988.6573 - voice
312.988.6579 - fax






« Return to Press releases

Site design by Webitects

© 2023 American Bar Foundation (
750 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611-4403
(312) 988-6500
Contact Us
Contact the Fellows
Media Contacts
Privacy policy
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in ABF publications are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Bar Foundation or the American Bar Association. The AMERICAN BAR FOUNDATION, ABF and related seal trademarks as used by the American Bar Foundation are owned by the American Bar Association and used under license.